Using the right words is not especially easy. I should know; I help people do that for a living. I also try to make words do things to say stuff and express my feelings.

Content warning: I allude to slurs in this piece, citing a couple of them, and also discuss ableism.

Sometimes those feelings are angry, contemptuous, dismissive, or that sort of thing. It’s useful to have ways to belittle or express aggression towards people — say, for political reasons, or to express helplessness, fear; there’s a constellation of reasons to embrace both negative emotions and negative communication.

When…


I have not been okay lately.

In late March, a dear friend’s husband passed away. In April, I almost had the chance to acquire a home — something rare for Millennials and even many Gen Xs — but due to family reasons, it fell through. Then friends’ pets kept passing away or getting very ill. As mentioned a few times here, I have thanatophobia, a rather unpleasant phobia of death. In addition to being pretty empathetic and caring about my friends, this was all rather hard. …


Saddle up, kids, because the Magpie is mad about a video on the internet again. Content warnings apply for discussions of sexual assault, consent, queer stuff, and a whole plethora of different types of prejudice and phobias.

As readers of my articles and general members of my social sphere may know already, I’m a big proponent of sex work advocacy. I find the area interesting, it’s sometimes ethically fraught and complex, and it’s one in which a lot of marginalized oppressions and issues dovetail together. There’s a ton of societal prejudice involved as well. …


I’d been sitting on this concept for a while, and then I found myself relaxing on Youtube one night, watching a film reviewer’s analyses — and I was jolted from my comfortable mood and into a flurry of expository frothing.

Possible content warning for talk about cults, general acts of violence, the dark side of humanity, cops, abuse — you get the idea.

Now, I think Ryan Hollinger does a great job of analysing this giving the constraints of his expertise and knowledge. I generally love his channel, and would recommend it. …


If you’ve been on the internet for a few minutes, or a few years, it’s quite easy to notice that sometimes — or, actually, often — people who purportedly agree with each other can have quite unpleasant dust-ups. Why does that happen so often in political discussions?

Content warning for talk about sexual assault and graphic, frank language in this one.

Source.

I was talking to a few friends about this regarding an article, when — to everyone’s surprise — one person declared that she didn’t think the clothes were appropriate, actually.

There was some consternation, so I thought I’d…


So, people who remember the 90s and early 2000s, or even the early 10s, might remember the recurring cultural fixation on being “unlike other girls.” A Youtuber I particularly enjoy just put out an excellent video essay on the topic, and it covers a really interesting angle that isn’t necessarily being talked about much.

A quick note about gender to preface things — some of the people who look like “other girls” are either transgender or non-gender conforming, and the issue of gender for trans people, especially re: gender performance for both personal reasons and survival reasons, is really complicated…


So, I mentioned in a previous article that I’ve been agonizing over leftist infighting issues for — well — a few years now. Despite the sharp tone of my previous posts and some others, it should be noted that I don’t hate modern communists — in fact, I generally agree with a lot of their aims (with the exception of the small number of dictator apologists). I am, however, significantly more comfortable around people who talk about democratic socialism and who generally aren’t demanding a one-party state, because of my previously stated vehement opposition to totalitarianism.

But today, I want…


People who’ve read The Meaning Wars series might recall that in book 2, The Stolen: Two Short Stories, the novella “Wordthieves” depicts a society that has some of the trappings of leftist and liberal groups — meditation, organic food, yoga, vegetarianism, basic housing and healthcare — yet behaves like Christian extremists. To wit, they exert behavioural control over members, demand obedience and a lack of questioning,

Part of my goal with this was to vent frustration at the controlling behaviour and culture present in the Health Sciences faculty I was studying in, under a now (thankfully) deposed Department Head. The…


I was crawling through my Discord and Facebook threads about politics and chatting with friends when a buddy shared a screenshot of a tweet that made my jaw drop. (Discord is a social chatting platform similar to old IRC chats, but with a nicer interface; if you don’t know what Facebook and Twitter are, I would like to know the location of your rock, and exactly how many other blind salamanders live under it, because it should probably be protected by UNESCO.)

Anyway, there’s a content producer called Peter Coffin. They create video essays on Youtube, and since I tend…


Oh, how the turn tables.

With Trump impeached for the second time in one term — a historic first for the US — I wanted to take a moment to really just savour the backlash against him and the fascist movement threatening him.

Despite what a small number of people on the left and liberals are saying — you know, that we ought to be kind to these discontented “patriots” trying to do their best, etcetera — the reprecussions have been severe. Delayed, granted — this should have happened years ago. Trump should never have been allowed to run. The…

Michelle Browne

Author of queer, wry sci fi/fantasy books; editor of all fiction genres. http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00BGWZRCW

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